Tolerance strategies of two Mediterranean native xerophytes under fluoride pollution in Tunisia

Abstract : A field study was conducted along a fluorine gradient of soil pollution in Tunisia from Gabes, the most polluted site, to Smara, the reference site. Variations of fluoride (F) concentrations in soils were detected over one year in Gabes, Skhira and Smara. F concentrations in the aerial part of two native plant species, i.e. Erodium glaucophyllum and Rantherium suaveolens, were above the usual background concentrations. Bioaccumulation factors ranged from 0.08 to 1.3. With F concentrations in aerial parts up to 355 mg kg-1, both species may be described as Faccumulators. Both species showed an earlier vegetative growth in Gabes than in Smara. However, some difference between their strategies could be observed i.e. E. glaucophyllum shortening the period of its vegetative growth with an escape strategy and R. suaveolens decreasing its ratio of alive:dead parts potentially lowering the F toxicity by storage in dead cells. However, at a tissue level, mechanisms of tolerance were similar. Leaf section micrographs of both species showed a higher calcium accumulation in leaf midveins at Gabes than at Smara, confirming the role of calcium in plant F tolerance strategies.
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Asma Boukhris, Isabelle Laffont-Schwob, Hélène Folzer, Jacques Rabier, Imed Mezghani, et al.. Tolerance strategies of two Mediterranean native xerophytes under fluoride pollution in Tunisia. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Springer Verlag, 2018, 25 (34), pp.34753 - 34764. ⟨10.1007/s11356-018-3431-y⟩. ⟨hal-01926063⟩

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